Dolphins Protect Swimmers
On November 22, 2004, Reuters reported the following:
“A pod of dolphins circled protectively round a group of New Zealand swimmers to fend off an attack by a great white shark, media reported on Tuesday. Lifesavers Rob Howes, his 15-year-old daughter Niccy, Karina Cooper and Helen Slade were swimming 300 feet off Ocean Beach near Whangarei on New Zealand’s North Island when the dolphins herded them — apparently to protect them from a shark. ‘They started to herd us up, they pushed all four of us together by doing tight circles around us,’ Howes told the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA). Howes tried to drift away from the group, but two of the bigger dolphins herded him back just as he spotted a nine-foot great white shark swimming toward the group…. ‘They could have sensed the danger to the swimmers and taken action to protect them,’ Orca [Research’s] Ingrid Visser told NZPA.”
More from Cardinal Ratzinger
Zenit reported on November 25, 2004, that “In the face of Europe’s ideological laicism, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger thinks that the way religious freedom works in the United States is a model worth studying.” The article continued to quote Ratzinger, as follows: “‘… we still don’t know where Europe will go, but the Constitution of the European Union might be a first step toward a new conscious search of its soul,’ the cardinal said…. In comparing U.S. and European attitudes to diverse religions, Cardinal Ratzinger added: ‘I think that from many points of view the American model is the better one… People who did not want to belong to a STATE CHURCH, went to the United States and intentionally constituted a state that does not impose a church and which simply is not perceived as religiously neutral, but as a space within which religions can move and also enjoy organizational freedom without being simply relegated to the private sphere,’ he explained. On this point, ‘one can undoubtedly learn from the United States,’ as it is a ‘process by which the state makes room for religion, which is not imposed, but which, thanks to the state, lives, exists and has a public creative force,’ the cardinal said. ‘It certainly is a positive way.'”
Sadly, the Bible clearly predicts that in the future, Europe WILL experience a new version of the age-old historical concept of a “state church” — a church that will enforce its will on the state.
On November 25, 2004, Zenit pointed out that Catholic theologians declare the concept of limbo to be a human invention. The article stated: “On the specific topic of limbo, Father Ladaria, a professor at the Gregorian University, stressed that it would be studied ‘in the light of God’s mercy.’ He affirmed that ‘limbo is not the problem; in fact, it was a HISTORICAL ATTEMPT to proffer a solution in the face of the death of a child who has not been baptized… What is interesting is to study this topic in the light of God’s universal saving will…,’ he said.”
The Horrors of War
On November 27, 2004, WorldNetDaily published an interesting report of a platoon leader in Iraq. The article contains some grim descriptions of the horrors of war, so be warned. This eye-witness account may perhaps help some to think a little bit harder, before they applaud the “glory of war”:
“Well, I’m here in Iraq, and I’ve seen it and done it. I’ve seen everything you’ve ever seen in a war movie. I’ve seen cowardice; I’ve seen heroism; I’ve seen fear; and I’ve seen relief. I’ve seen blood and brains all over the back of a vehicle, and I’ve seen men bleed to death surrounded by their comrades. I’ve seen people throw up when it’s all over, and I’ve seen the same shell-shocked look in 35-year-old experienced sergeants as in 19-year-old privates. I’ve heard the screams ‘Medic! Medic!’ I’ve hauled dead civilians out of cars, and I’ve looked down at my hands and seen them covered in blood after putting some poor Iraqi civilian in the wrong place at the wrong time into a helicopter. I’ve seen kids with gunshot wounds, and I’ve seen kids who’ve tried to kill me… I’ve seen, sadly, that men who try to kill other men aren’t monsters, and most of them aren’t even brave. They aren’t defiant to the last; they’re ordinary people… I’ve seen a man without the back of his head and still done what I’ve been trained to do – ‘Medic!’ I’ve cleaned up blood and brains so my soldiers wouldn’t see it – taken pictures to document the scene, like I’m in some sort of bizarre cop show on TV… “I’ve seen men stacked up outside a house, ready to enter – some as scared as they could be, and some as calm as if they were picking up lunch from McDonald’s. I’ve laughed at dead men and watched a sergeant on the ground, laughing so hard he was crying, because my boots were stuck in a muddy field, all the while an Iraqi corpse was not five feet from him… I’ve heard men worry about civilians, and I’ve heard men shrug and sum up their viewpoint in two words… I’ve seen people shoot when they shouldn’t have, and I’ve seen my soldiers take an extra second or two, think about it, and spare somebody’s life… That’s combat, I guess, and there’s no way you can be ready for it. It just is what it is, and everybody’s experience is different. Just thought you might want to know what it’s really like.”
Attack on USA “Inevitable”?
On November 29, 2004, WorldNetDaily reported that, according to an expert, a massive WMD attack on the USA is “inevitable.” The article stated: “The United States is losing the war on terrorism and faces an ‘inevitable’ al-Qaida attack with weapons of mass destruction that will be worse than 9-11, according to a counter-terror expert. ‘All of the warnings we have today indicate that a major strike – something more horrible than anything we’ve seen before – is all but inevitable,’ said Yossef Bodansky, former director of the U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, in an interview yesterday with the Jerusalem Post.” The article continued: “… the re-election of President Bush has set the stage for a massive attack with non-conventional weapons, Bodansky believes. … Though some debate and doubt may linger, the planning for an attack is finished, Bodansky believes.”
WTO Penalties on USA
As AP reported on November 27, 2004, “The World Trade Organization imposed penalties Friday on U.S. exports ranging from apples to textiles, escalating a trade dispute the Bush administration has struggled to defuse by unsuccessfully urging Congress to repeal legislation aimed at protecting American steelmakers. The administration signaled it would accept the penalties short term, but also warned that the United States would aggressively protect its own trading interests and expects fair treatment from the WTO… In Geneva, the 148-nation WTO, which referees global commerce, approved punitive taxes long sought by the European Union and other countries because of a law they say unfairly protects U.S. steel companies and other industries… American officials said Friday that the United States would comply with the ruling that declared the law illegal. But WTO members expressed skepticism about the compliance promises… The value of the sanctions hasn’t been determined, but trade officials estimated them at more than $150 million a year. That compares with the $2 billion in sanctions the EU threatened in its successful bid to force the United States to lift illegal tariffs on foreign steel last year. The EU was joined in the complaint by Brazil, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, India and Chile. Other products on the strategic target list include U.S. cod, glassware, cigarettes, mobile homes and heavy machinery made by companies such as Caterpillar Inc., based in Illinois…”
Earthquake in Japan
Associated Press reported on November 28:
“A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido early Monday, injuring at least 13 people, swaying buildings and triggering a small tsunami wave that reached the shore… The quake was centered off Hokkaido’s east coast, about 550 miles northwest of Tokyo, 30 miles below the sea surface. The rocking was felt throughout northern Japan, including Hokkaido’s largest city, Sapporo, and Kushiro, on the island’s eastern shore… Last month, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake and several large aftershocks in the prefecture of northern Niigata killed 40 people and damaged more than 16,000 homes. That quake was the deadliest in Japan since 1995, when a magnitude 7.2 quake killed 6,000 people in the western city of Kobe.”
EU Constitution and God
On November 26, 2004, www.ekklesia.co.uk posted an article, stating that “More than a million people from all over Europe are to deliver a petition to Tony Blair and fellow EU leaders calling for changes to the constitution which explicitly recognize the Christian religion in Europe’s heritage.”
The article continued: “A Christian coalition is demanding that each EU state publish its version of the constitution’s preamble, with references to God if desired. Already armed with 1,149,000 signatures and with thousands more pouring in from Holland since the murder of the film-maker Theo van Gogh, the group claims that most states want some reference to Christianity but were blocked by France. The move is keenly backed by Pope John Paul II, who has repeatedly condemned the ‘moral drift’ of Brussels. ‘One does not cut the roots to one’s birthright,’ he told pilgrims this summer.
“However, it is not being supported by more radical Christians who believe that a separation of religion and Government is desirable and point to the mistakes that institutional religion has made in the past.”
One must question why Christians, who rightly point out “mistakes” made by “institutional religion,” are referred to and labelled as “radical” in the article. It appears that their view point, at least in referring to the “mistakes” or better “atrocities,” if not “crimes,” committed in the name and under the disguise of religion, is not “radical” at all. Rather, it is the correct one.
Germany and Islam
DPA and Expatica published the following article on November 30, 2004:
“While Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has stepped-up a campaign calling on the country’s big Muslim community to fit with the country’s laws and its democratic principles, leading political figures in the nation have claimed that multiculturalism has failed in Germany.This comes in the wake of a mass demonstration of Muslims in Germany against terror and growing alarm in the country over the torching of mosques, churches and schools in the Netherlands following the van Gogh killing… With 3.4 million Muslims comprising 4 percent of Germany’s population, the question was put this way by a banner headline in the conservative Bild newspaper: ‘Is the hate going to come here?’ asked the biggest selling tabloid… “Germany’s tough-minded interior minister, Otto Schily, spoke at the weekend of ‘a danger’ to the country despite successes in integrating the majority of immigrants. Schily drew headlines earlier this year with a harsh warning to Islamic fundamentalists: ‘If you love death so much, then it can be yours.’…
“Meanwhile, Opposition chief Angela Merkel has declared the multicultural society a failure.This was echoed by former Social Democrat Chancellor Helmut Schmidt in comments published in a German newspaper. ‘Multicultural societies have only … functioned peacefully in authoritarian states. To that extent it was a mistake for us to bring guest workers from foreign cultures into the country at the beginning of the 1960s,’ Schmidt said…. Germany’s Verfassungschutz – the domestic intelligence service – estimates there are 31,000 radical Islamists living in Germany, of whom several thousand are prepared to use violence… The number of reported crimes carried out by foreign extremists in Germany almost tripled last year compared with 2002, warns the Verfassungsschutz.”
Especially the comments by former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt have started a big debate in the German press, with many prominent personalities disagreeing with Schmidt. Especially some Catholics, Social Democrats (Schmidt’s party) and Greens claimed that they were “offended” by Schmidt’s statements.
On November 23, 2004, www.fromthewilderness.com published the following report:
“Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley… met select groups of fund managers downtown last week, including a group at Fidelity. His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic ‘Armageddon.’… In a nutshell, Roach’s argument is that America’s record trade deficit means the dollar will keep falling. To keep foreigners buying T-bills and prevent a resulting rise in inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will be forced to raise interest rates further and faster than he wants.The result: U.S. consumers, who are in debt up to their eyeballs, will get pounded… Twenty years ago the total debt of U.S. households was equal to half the size of the economy. Today the figure is 85 percent… The dollar is hitting fresh lows against currencies from the yen to the euro. Its parachute failed to open over the weekend, when a meeting of the world’s top finance ministers produced no promise of concerted intervention. It has farther to fall, especially against Asian currencies, analysts agree.”
Bild Online predicted on November 26, 2004: “Our Euro will become the world’s currency.” In the article, the tabloid stated: “Analysts expect that within a few years, the Euro will replace the U.S. Dollar as the world’s strongest currency.”